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What Is Trigger Point Massage Therapy?

Trigger point massage therapy photo.

Trigger point massage therapy treats tight bands of muscles, caused by repetitive use or stress. You might benefit from this type of massage if this sounds like you:

  • Perform the same motion in your daily work.
  • Sleep in the same position each night.
  • Practice a repetitive exercise.
  • Drink too little water or feel dehydrated.

Each of these can result in painful muscular knots in soft tissue, known as trigger points. In addition to overuse, you can develop trigger points in muscles from lack of use or from trauma to the body too. Trigger points can be found throughout the body. At our spa, we commonly see trigger points in the upper trapezius muscles: on the side of the neck and on the upper back.

When you experience a trigger point, the pain can feel sharp. Sometimes it can be an uncomfortable nagging sensation that may go away on its own or persist for weeks. Some trigger points are sore when pressed and that pain radiates through the surrounding tissue. But other trigger points are not sore at all.

One theory as to why this happens is that the soft tissue is extremely tight and is not getting adequate oxygen and nutrients through circulation. The body needs oxygen and nutrients to heal. But the tighter the soft tissue is in and around the trigger point, the greater the lack of circulation.

Things you can do to lessen the effects of trigger points include:

  • Staying hydrated.
  • Getting regular massages.
  • Practicing self-awareness in your movements throughout the day.
  • Adjusting how you sleep at night.

The Floating Lotus’s spa offers trigger point massage therapy, in which the massage therapist uses their thumbs, elbows or palms to release the muscle knot. The objective is to relax the trigger point by applying varying degrees of direct pressure. Once the area begins to release and is ready for movement, you’ll feel small stretches bringing fresh blood flow, restoring oxygen and nutrients.

You may experience more range of motion and relief immediately following your massage or it may take 24-72 hours, depending on the tightness in the trigger point. Drinking plenty of water after the massage lets your body hydrate and eliminate toxins that have built up in the trigger point.

If you are experiencing multiple trigger points, book a deep tissue massage for deeper all-over work. Or if you have just one trigger point, book a relaxation massage and let your massage therapist know you need one area worked on. The talented massage therapists at The Floating Lotus Day Spa will work out any muscles tightness you may be experiencing. Book your appointment online through MindBody. A full list of our massages is available on the Massage page.

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